Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)

Topkapi Palace, one of world’s richest museums, can be considered as the best and the most visited sights in Istanbul together with the neighboring Hagia Sophia. Situated on a triangular promontory dominating the Bosphorus and Golden Horn, it is a magnificent oriental palace and one of the world’s greatest architectural works.


Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)

Topkapi Palace Facts

Istanbul’s, as well as the World’s one of most visited sights. So what it stands for?

  • Built between the years of 1460-1478.
  • Once a residence of the Ottoman Sultans.
  • One of world’s richest museums.
  • Houses the finest samples of seal, book binding, jewelry and box craftsmanship as well as inscriptions.
  • Houses the finest collection of Chinese porcelain in the world.
  • Converted to a museum in 1924.

History of Topkapi Palace

Topkapi Palace was the residence of the Ottoman sultans as well as the administrative and educational center of the Empire. The palace was constructed atop the Byzantine acropolis on Sarayburnu at the tip of the historical peninsula, between the years of 1460-1478 with the order of Fatih Sultan Mehmed, conquest of Istanbul in 1453.

Covering an area of about 700,000 m2, the palace is surrounded by the Marmara Sea, the Bosphorus and the Golden Horn. And on the land, it is surrounded by a 1,400-meters city walls known as the “Royal Walls” and with the Byzantine walls on the side facing the sea.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)


Topkapi Palace complex has a giant design and consists of three main gates that include the Imperial Gate (Bâb-ı Hümâyûn), the Gate of Salutation (Bâbüsselâm) and the Gate of Felicity (Bâbüssaâde), four courtyards, the Harem, the Royal Gardens (also known as Rose Garden (Gülbahçe) and several other gardens.

What to See at Topkapi Palace

The Imperial Gate

Topkapi Palace continued to be the residence of the Ottoman sultans for about 350 years, until the early 1850s. As the palace has become very inadequate to the needs such as ceremonies and protocol, sultans moved to the Dolmabahce Palace, which is situated in Besiktas, Bosphorus shores.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)

But despite the move, the many collections such as the royal treasure, the Holy Relics of the Prophet Muhammad and the imperial archives continued to be preserved at the Topkapi Palace. In the year of 1924, as the Republic of Turkey established, Topkapi Palace was converted into a museum with the order of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk.

What’s inside

Topkapi Palace houses the finest samples of seal, book binding, jewelry and box craftsmanship as well as inscriptions. The former imperial kitchen houses the finest collection of Chinese porcelain in the world.

The Sultans’ costumes also exhibited there. The Treasury has a breathtaking and excellent collection of jewels such as emeralds, rubies and diamonds adorn turban crests, swords, golden thrones embroidered with seed pearls.

The Baghdad Pavilion, decorated with beautiful blue tiles, houses a sanctuary containing relics of the Prophet Mohammed, as well as exhibitions of paintings and manuscripts.


Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)

And than comes the world famous Harem, the private part of the palace where the wives and concubines of the sultans were lived.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)

Also the famous Hagia Irene Church, now a museum and a center cultural activities and exhibitions, is located at the first court of the palace. Like Harem, you need to buy separate ticket to visit Hagia Irene.

Topkapi Palace Collections

* Arms and Weapons – part of the private collection of Topkapi Palace; the finest samples of craftsmanship and ornamentation of The Ottomans; weaponry owned by Sultan Mehmed II, Bayezid II, Selim the Grim, Suleiman the Magnificent, Selim II, Mehmed II, and Ahmed I and more.

* Chinese and Japanese Porcelains – one of the finest collection of Chinese porcelains in the world, together with Japanese Porcelains are exhibited at the Imperial Kitchens.

* Copper and Goldplate Copper Kitchen Utensils – Copper works are an important part of the kitchenware of the Topkapi Palace; exhibited at the Confectionery House.

* European Porcelains and Glasses – about 5,000 pieces of porcelain ware from various countries in Europe.

* Imperial Treasury – Kasikci (Spoon-maker) Diamond, Topkapi Dagger, Jewelled pendants and plumes, treasury weapons, thrones and gifts for Sultans.

* Istanbul Glassware and Porcelain – about 2,000 pieces of porcelain.

* Pavilion of the Holy Mantle and Holy Relics – holy relics, Holy Mantle of the Prophet Muhammad, the hair from the Prophet Muhammad’s beard, the tray used by Abraham;, the staff of Moses, the sword of David, the robe of Joseph, the swords of the Prophet Muhammad’s companions exhibited at the Privy Room (Has Oda).

* Portraits of Sultans and Paintings – variety of very valuable portraits of 36 different ruling sultans beginning with the foundation of the Ottoman state.

* Silverware – rich collection of about 2,000 works of silverware made up of works from the 16th to the 19th centuries

* Sultan Caftans, Fabrics, Carpets and Sacred Coverings – collection of sultans’ clothing; finest examples of Ottoman textile art.

The Harem

The Harem is a whole different world where the wives and concubines of the sultans were lived. It was the world of love, intrigue and jealousy and has an important value on the administration of the Empire.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)

The Privy Chamber of Murad III, decorated with blue and red tiles is one of the most beautiful rooms of the Harem that worth a visit and see, as well as the dome with outstanding classical patterns, a built-in marble fountain with three levels, and the best examples of wooden doors. Note that you need to buy separate ticket to visit Harem.

Visiting Topkapi Palace Tips

Visiting Topkapi Palace without buying tickets before and try to buy at the ticket window on location means waiting in the long lines.

You can wait about 2 hours that is crowd dependent to get an entry ticket, so getting there at 09:30 am could mean a 11:30 am entrance.

So, we highly recommend you buy your Topkapi Palace tickets online.

Some insider advice

* Buy your tickets well in advance to avoid the time slots that can tend to sell out even in low season.

* Buying guided tours is recommended because Topkapi Palace has a history coming from 1460s, better to know the each detail and story, and have a detailed look at the story of the museum, and you’ll have a detailed look at the rooms, gardens, galleries, collections and the decoration from the past and today.

* Harem section of Topkapi Palace and Hagia Irene Museum (formely church, inside the 1st courtyard) is visited via separate tickets.

* The palace has four courts, you are free to enter the first court, and there you’ll find a beautiful garden with very old huge trees, the museum souvenir shop and cafe and ticket window. See the Topkapi Palace Plan Map.

* Book your tickets for 09:30 or 15:30, to avoid crowds.

* Plan at least 90 minutes for the visit.

* Plan your day together with Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern as they are within walking distance from Hagia Sophia.

* Keep an eye out for unofficial guides (guides should have official badge on).

* Don’t pay attention, look in the eyes, and talk with beggars, and people coming beside and ask for helping with guidance around or for money.

* Avoid weekends if possible, it can be more crowded with the locals’ visits.

* Try one of the four quality restaurants for lunch situated inside the palace, overlooking the Bosphorus entrance with good views.

* Check the weather forecast and plan your day for the sunniest one if possible.

Visiting Hours & Admissions

Opening Hours

Open every day from 09:00-18:45 (from 15 April to 31 October), 09:00-16:45 (from 01 November to 15 April)

Hours of Ticket Sale

Ticket counters close 45 minutes before the museum closing time.

Special Days

Not available for visiting in the first days of Ramadan and Sacrifice Festivals for half time. See Turkey’s public holidays

Ticket Price

* 72 TL (about €11,25) at ticket window on location (except Harem section)

* Guided tour regular price is about €18

* Harem and Halberdiers with Tresses Dormitory Ticket is 42 TL (about €6,50)

* Hagia Irene Museum ticket is 36 TL (about €5,60)

Where to Buy Topkapi Palace Tickets

You can buy them at ticket windows but it will cost you about at least 1 to 2 hours waiting in the line. And this will effect your future sightseeing calendar.

We recommend you buy your tickets online. This is by far the easiest and cheapest way to get tickets to Hagia Sophia.

We put the links to the official buying channels below. Just pick your date and time and skip the lines.

Topkapi Palace Ticket Options and Prices

There are several options:

  • Buy directly at the ticket window on location.
  • Buy Topkapi Palace only guided tours.
  • Buy Topkapi Palace included combo tickets.
  • Buy one of Topkapi Palace included Istanbul discount passes.

Topkapi Palace is a giant complex and you’ll need about at least 1,5 to 2 hours to have a complete tour.

We recommend you to book the Topkapi Palace tickets for 09:30 and 15:30, as it will be less crowded and you can make the most of the Topkapi Palace even better.

General Admission Tickets

Topkapi Palace entrance fee on your own is 72 TL (about €11,25). This is the ticket window on location option. You need to pay extra 42 TL (about €6,50) for the Harem section.

The general admission tickets will let you enter the museum and explore on your own. You should know that there is very little explanation of the architecture by signs, plates, etc.

If you just want to have quick look inside without need of understand the history behind, and waiting in the queue is not a problem, this is the ticket for you.

The skip the line access tickets with a guide (see below) seems to be about €6,75 expensive.

You should consider on your own would it worth to pay that amount to save yourself from 1 to 2 hours waiting in the line, and have a guide. We guess it would!

Guided Tours

This is the best option we recommend especially for first time visitors. And we always recommend opting for an extended English guided tour offered exclusively by several historian guides of Istanbul.

When you book  you’ll get an email confirmation with meeting details (in front of the Fountain of Sultan Selim III, just by the Imperial Gate of the Topkapi Palace) and there your name being checked from the official guide’s list with your confirmation number.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)

See below the recommended Topkapi Palace guided tours with fast track entry.

Topkapi Palace and Harem Fast Track Entry with Historian Guide

This is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card and we highly recommend. You’ll enjoy Topkapi Palace and famous Harem section with one of the few historian guides available in Istanbul, who will tell you about each detail and story about the museum, and you’ll have a detailed look at the rooms, gardens, galleries, collections and the decoration from the past and today that tell the story of Topkapi Palace.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)Highlights:

  • Benefit from fast track entry
  • Skip the ticket lines and save 2 hours
  • Learn 90 minutes from a historian guide
  • Get the real sense of the Topkapi Palace and Harem
  • See all rooms, gardens, galleries and collections inside
  • Get to know the story of the Harem
  • English speaking guide and entrance fee included
  • Stay inside as long as you want

Ticket price: €35

Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.

Topkapi Palace Meeting Hours: daily at 12:30, except Mondays and Tuesdays

Rebooking & Cancellation Policy: You have missed your meeting time? No problem, you can come to our next meeting time or day. You want to cancel? No problem, you can cancel your reservation anytime and get your refund.

Topkapi Palace & Harem Tour with Fast Track Entry & Historian Guide


Topkapi Palace Fast Track Entry and 30-Minute Guided Tour

This is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card and we highly recommend.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)The ticket includes:

  • Entrance fee and skip the line access to Topkapi Palace (Harem not included)
  • 30 minute introduction and orientation by official Topkapi Palace licensed guide
  • Stay inside as long as you want

Ticket price: €18

Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.

How it Works:

  • You’ll will receive a confirmation with the meeting point
  • You’ll just show the confirmation to your Istanbul Welcome Card guide
  • Your name will be for 3 days on the list.
  • You can come to the meeting point at any time below.

Topkapi Palace Meeting Hours: daily at 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 14:30 and 15:30, except Tuesdays

Rebooking & Cancellation Policy: You have missed your meeting time? No problem, you can come to our next meeting time or day. You want to cancel? No problem, you can cancel your reservation anytime and get your refund.

Topkapi Palace Fast Track Entry + 30 Mins Guided Tour


Topkapi Palace VIP Tickets with Audio App

This is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card and we highly recommend.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)The ticket includes:

  • Skip the line access to Topkapi Palace
  • Entrance fee and Topkapi Palace plan (Harem not included)
  • Guiding service by official Topkapi Palace licensed guide
  • Audio App in 10 languages
  • Stay inside as long as you want

Ticket price: €15

Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.

How it Works:

  • You’ll will receive a confirmation with the meeting point
  • You’ll just show the confirmation to your Istanbul Welcome Card guide
  • Your name will be for 3 days on the list.
  • You can come to the meeting point at any time below.

Topkapi Palace Meeting Hours: daily at 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30 and 15:30, except Tuesdays

Rebooking & Cancellation Policy: You have missed your meeting time? No problem, you can come to our next meeting time or day. You want to cancel? No problem, you can cancel your reservation anytime and get your refund.

Topkapi Palace VIP Ticket & Audio App


Alternative Channels to Book

Some tourists prefer to book online ticket via World’s popular excursion sale companies Get Your Guide (GYG) or Viator. Below we put the Topkapi Palace Tours provided by GYG and Viator.

This can be a good option for the ones staying far away from the attractions, as these tours offer FREE Hotel Pick-Up and Drop-Off service. And you can also cancel have a full refund 24 hours before the activity starts. We recommend you to check out the travelers’ comments with prices before you book from GYG or Vaitor.


Combo Tickets

This is also a great option we recommend especially for both first time visitors and budget travelers.

Majority of the tourists visit Topkapi Palace on the same day with Hagia Sophia and Basilica Cistern due to their proximity.

Combo tickets become a good choice if want to get them all with same ticket. You can pick one of the combo tickets.

VIP Combo Tour Ticket: Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern

This is offered by Istanbul Welcome Card and we highly recommend.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)The ticket includes:

  • Fast track entry to all 3 museums with certified guide
  • Save 15% and skip the ticket lines
  • Guiding service by official guide
  • Free Hagia Sophia Audio App in 10 languages

Ticket price: €35

Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.

How it Works:

  • You’ll will receive a confirmation with the meeting points of all 3 museums
    and the redeem code for the Hagia Sophia Audio App
  • You’ll just show the confirmation to your Istanbul Welcome Card guide
  • Your name will be for 3 days on the list.
  • You can come to the meeting points and visit all 3 museums at any time below.
  • You can visit all 3 museums in 1 day or at different days.

Hagia Sophia Meeting Hours: daily at 09:00, 10:00, 11:00, 12:00, 13:00, 14:00, 15:00 and 16:00

Topkapi Palace Meeting Hours: daily except Tuesdays at 09:30, 10:30, 11:30, 12:30, 13:30, 14:30, 15:30 and 16:30

Basilica Cistern Meeting Hours: daily at 09:30, 11:30, 13:30 and 15:30

Hagia Sophia, Topkapi Palace and Basilica Cistern VIP Combo Ticket


Tourist Passes

Istanbul has two major tourist discount passes. You can read more with our tips and comparisons on our Istanbul Welcome Card and Istanbul Tourist Pass pages.

Topkapi Palace is included at these passes below.

Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

This is a travel discount card that is delivered to your hotel for FREE upon your purchase online, and will be ready to use at your arrival. You can also receive it from its stand in both two Istanbul Airports.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)There are three types of Istanbul Welcome Card and all are valid for 7 days.
  • Classic €19.
  • Premium €49.
  • Deluxe €79.
Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe comes with Pass for 12 Museums, 3 Tours by Historian Guide, 20 Rides with IstanbulKart (Public Transport), Bosphorus Cruise, Digital Guide Book and Map.

Notice: Our website visitors will get 5% extra discount. Just click the red button below and make sure you see the discounted price on the official page.

Buy Your Istanbul Welcome Card Deluxe

Tip: This discount card also gets you 20% for all the other attractions and services on their shop like guided museum tours, dinner cruise, theme parks, airport transfer, unlimited mobile internet, etc., and is a jewel to tourists with a lot to see.

Istanbul Tourist Pass

This is a digital travel discount pass that is delivered to your phone upon your purchase online, and will be ready to use at your arrival.

Topkapi Palace Museum (Tickets with Guru Advice Guide 2019)It includes 30+ attractions and services including skip the line access and guided museum tours, dinner cruise, hop-on & hop-off Bus, airport transfer, unlimited mobile internet, etc.

There are four types of Istanbul Tourist Pass:
  • 2 day Pass €95 adult - €45 child.
  • 3 day Pass €115 adult - €45 child.
  • 5 day Pass €135 adult - €45 child.
  • 7 day Pass €145 adult - €45 child.

Buy Your Istanbul Tourist Pass

Alternative Buying Channels
If you are a Get Your Guide (GYG) or Viator fan for worldwide tour buying, than you can buy these Istanbul discount cards from their links below.


How to Get to Topkapi Palace?

Location

Topkapi Palace is situated in the Sultanahmet neighborhood of Fatih district, along the Sultanahmet Sqaure, just very close to the famous Hagia Sophia Museum. See the location map.

Transportation

The most practical way to get to Sultanahmet is via Bagcilar-Kabatas tram (T1 line).

  • The closest tram stop is Sultanahmet.
  • Sultanahmet Square and most of the connecting roads are closed for vehicle traffic except tram and tour buses.
  • From Taksim, take the funicular to Kabatas (from taksim Square) or funicular to Karakoy (from Tunel square) and than take the tram.
  • If you stay at the Sultanahmet hotels, than you easily walk to the museum.

Check our Sultanahmet page to see how to get to Sultanahmet in details.

Contact Details

Address: Sultanahmet, Fatih, Istanbul
Tel: +90 212 512 04 80
Web: topkapisarayi.gov.tr